- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Democrats field-tested a survey in the 2008 presidential race that described Hillary Clinton’s weaknesses as her inability to bring change and her reputation as a polarizing figure — two areas where she still faces doubts from voters, according to leaked emails.

During Mrs. Clinton’s primary race against Barack Obama, a Democratic operative sent a draft of a proposed polling survey to John Podesta, who is now Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, and other Democrats. It describes potential lines of attacks against Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama and Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who became the Republican nominee in 2008.

The memo, prepared by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, included the possible attack on Mrs. Clinton that she “represents the Washington establishment and can’t bring the kind of change we need.” That was essentially the criticism leveled at her in the 2016 Democratic primary by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“She makes decisions based on polls, not principles and is beholden to the special interests in Washington,” the memo suggested. “If she is elected we will have the same kind of polarized politics that we have had for the past fifteen years.”

The draft also proposed a line of attack stating that, “A Clinton White House would be a repeat of the scandals from the first Clinton administration.”

Such surveys can be used to learn how voters view candidates’ supposed weaknesses and strengths.

Clinton has refused to release her tax returns or records from her time on the Walmart board and has refused to release information on donors who contributed to the Clinton library. And her campaign had to return nearly 1 million dollars in campaign funds raised by a convicted felon,” the email stated.

Before she served as secretary of state, she also could be vulnerable in the foreign-policy arena, the memo said, citing her experience as first lady.

Clinton’s claims of foreign policy experience are exaggerated,” the survey draft stated. “While she falsely claims that as first lady she negotiated peace treaties and opened borders, her trips abroad with Sheryl Crow and Sinbad hardly constitute managing global crises. The reality is she did not sit in on National Security Council meetings, and she didn’t even have a security clearance.”

In the current campaign, Mrs. Clinton has touted her role as a top adviser to President Obama and her attendance in the White House situation room during the special forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden in 2011.

As for Mr. Obama, the suggested lines of attack included his inexperience and elitist attitudes.

Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) does not have the experience necessary to be president,” the draft stated. “He has only been in the Saenate [sic] since 2005, just three years. Of the bills he has sponsored in the Senate, only 2 have been enacted. On the campaign trail, Obama is forced to refer back to his time as a state legislator. Obama is not qualified to be commander in chief.”

The memo also suggested Mr. Obama would be vulnerable for his comment that voters in rural Pennsylvania “cling” to guns and religion and become bitter due to feelings of being left behind.

“Hardworking Americans aren’t bitter,” the memo stated. “They love their country, a their faith, their traditions and their culture. Obama is a liberal elitist who is out of touch with most Americans. Obama (owe-BAHM-uhs) is an Ivy-League-educated liberal elitist who looks down on regular Americans.”

The proposed lines of attack on Mr. McCain included his age and his temper.

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